I really love Valentine’s Day. People say its for couples or families because they go to special dinners, buy flowers and candy and occasionally that illusive diamond. Kids love it too, especially buying those boxed cards and giving one to everyone in the class. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was making my own Valentine box, decorating it eclecticly with different shades of pink, red and white hearts and cutting the card size slot in the lid! But, the REAL reason I love Valentine’s Day is because it is yet another day that testifies to love. My life is ALL about love.
Yes, I am single and I have been single FOREVER. Ok, only for two decades. That is less than half my life right. SO many people think that Valentine’s day makes the single person sad and lonely. Truth, it makes everyone sad and lonely occasionally. Why? Because our hearts long to be loved. We seek for something to fill that deep desire in our souls and flowers and words of affirmation hold the threshold for but a brief and tender moment in time. They say a diamond is forever, yet, it leaves us wanting more.
Why is it so brief? Why does that search for it come back with a reckoning force? Because the definition of love is God. Scripture says our hearts long for a perfect love that only God can give because God is love. So to me the testament of this specific day that centers around those 4 letter words, LOVE, is how your life testifies of it, not what you will receive from it. How are you loving others? Are you reaching out to others in need? Do you share Christ with those who are searching? As brothers and sisters in Christ are you calling each other higher, calling each other out of sinfulness, calling each other to the transforming grace of an Almighty God?
We confuse love with happiness, with feelings of gratification and elation. When we inflate the impact of a gesture that’s intent is never perfect but usually good, we deflate like a needle puncture in a balloon if they fail to deliver again and again and again. When life throws us lemons we complain. Lemons make a lot of incredible blessings for that is how it is with sour things: Lemonade, Lemon bars, Lemonheads, Lemon pies, Lemon tarts. Sour combined with the sweetness of life. Think about it, without my bad marriage I would not have the two biggest blessings of my life, my daughters. Without my physical abuse and other struggles I would not have the compassion and willingness to forgive offenses nor would I be able to run alongside others who struggle the same. God is love, happiness flows from Him.
God’s intentions are perfect and His love is genuine. His love never fails. People are imperfect and intentions are not always good, even in the best of relationships. People always fail, that is why Christ died. We must journey outside of our hearts and our desire to God’s heart and God’s desires. This shifts our thinking from self to Christ and moves love into our veins and into others souls.
This has been a tough Valentine’s day for me, wading knee deep in God’s discipline is difficult and challenging; Some my own doing and some just the realities of a broken world. I am missing a friend. I am missing my daddy and my youngest daughter. I have that tug deep in my soul when I visibly see all of the posts on Facebook and I say to myself, “I want that Lord.”
He gently whispers “Here I am.” Look for me in the compliment of a man passing by, in the sunshine that shone after days without its brightness, in the sweet and thoughtful gifts I received all day from my boss, my daughter, my coworker, my mother, my sister in law and friends on Facebook, in the larger than expected paycheck and the sales I made at the office. God is love and God is real and God is right here with you in all the moments of testing, discipline and stories. His love language is spoken into the very air we breath each day.
Valentine’s day is over but God’s love is in the air and everyway. Some celebrated it alone, some with their friends, their kids, their lovers. But a new day has dawned and that time has ended. Love didn’t. The sunshine that is shining brightly outside is a banner to that fact. Step outside and feel its warmth touch your face, feel the wind blow the breeze through your hair, hear the sounds of life moving, cars driving, kids playing, birds chirping. That is the language of God’s love to your broken soul. For we are all broken and love is what puts us back together.